The Punjab government has decided to set up cinema halls in villages to provide entertainment facilities in rural areas. It has also decided to institute annual film awards to the tune of Rs. one crore in various categories.This was announced by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal here today during deliberations on Film Policy for Punjab drafted by National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) with its Chairman Mr. Ramesh Sippy. The meeting was attended by Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Punjab Mr. Sarwan Singh Phillaur and Principal Secretary Tourism Mrs Geetika Kalha.Discussing the draft film policy Mr Badal declared the new policy would come up within two months and enshrine the concept of rural cinema halls, first of its kind in the country, having one or two screens with capacity of 100 seats or more. "It will help in entertainment of rural masses at low costs and provide impetus to production of more Punjabi and other languages films in the state” he asserted.
To showcase the unique Punjab persity and historic religio-cultural heritage through films, the Deputy Chief Minister also announced that from the year 2014 the Punjab Government would award quality films, producers, actors and others with awards ranging from Rs. 25 lakh, 15 lakh and 10 lakh respectively for first, second and third category awards amounting to Rs. one crore. Inviting film producers to shoot films in Punjab Mr. Badal offered to initiate various incentives, strategic support and facilitating single window clearance for the entire shooting process besides post productions facilities also.
Emphasising the need for developing proper human resource backup for film industry in the state, Mr. Badal also gave nod to set up world class Film Training Institute in Mohali with the help of NFDC that would provide specialisation indifferent trades related with film industry.
Describing mass media and film making as sunrise industry of future, Deputy Chief Minister said that new film policy would certainly promote cinematic tourism in the State. “This comprehensive policy will attract the film producers and directors to come to the State and establish a film city and film institute also” he opined.
Badal said that films not only help generate revenue, they also have the potential to boost local tourism and trade. Adding further he emphasized that tourism was an economic activity and should be taken at all available platforms so as to tap its huge potential to generate employment and to reap its financial and social benefits to the state. Highlighting the importance of inbound tourism he asked the cultural and tourism department to develop essential infrastructure and other attractions to enable prospective producers and directors of films and TV serials to make use of these as possible locales.Among others present in the meeting included Managing Director NFDC Mrs. Nina Lath Gupta, Secretary Tourism Mrs Raji. P. Srivastava, Director Tourism Mr. Navjotpal Singh Randhawa and Executive Director Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board Mr. V.B. Kumar.